I’ve always been competitive, in nearly all areas of my life – I often tell people I get it from my Mum and Dad, but they’d likely argue with that!

Growing up in London, I threw myself into every sport. I was really lucky in that the schools that I went to offered plenty of opportunities, in really anything you wanted to get involved with.

In high school, I’d be playing a different sport every night of the week and training every morning, just because I loved doing it.

I had a really great group of friends that I connected with through the many sports I played in – some were like me, they just wanted to go after it all.

We’d just turn up at water polo trials, having never played before, because we wanted to give it a crack. We were having so much fun doing so as well.

Then one day, my sister started telling me about Ultimate Frisbee – I had literally never heard of it before.

As you can probably guess, curiosity got the better of me and I started to take up Ultimate.

When the time came for me to choose between Ultimate and the other sports I was playing, I didn’t hesitate. There was just something special about Ultimate. I seriously have never come across anything quite like it.

It became an obsession of mine and thus I put all my energy, passion and time towards dedicating myself to Ultimate on a full-time basis.

At the time, my sister Michelle was playing with Melbourne University, participating in the national Uni Games series. I went along to one of their training sessions and they were playing a pick-up game and didn’t have enough players to field two teams. So I joined in with two of my school friends.

From there, I fell in love with it – Michelle helped me sign up to a few local leagues that she knew, and we both got more and more involved together.

It was lovely because outside of playing Ultimate, I was also able to spend even more time with my sister. It definitely brought us closer together.

At the end of Year 11, I was selected onto the Australian u19 team that would be attending the World Championships in Canada.I started to learn how hard I needed to train and how much I needed to commit myself to be able to compete at the top level. Representing Australia during this campaign has been one of the best experiences of my life.

The selection into the U19 Australian team pushed me to want to work even harder than I ever had before, so that I could really make my mark as a pro.

And again, the whole experience meant so much more to me because I was doing it alongside Michelle.

After making that Under 19 Australian team, we both made the U23 team together, playing for Australia at the same tournament.

We played a key role in helping Australia secure the gold medal in our age group – which I believe is Australia’s first and only gold in Ultimate Frisbee.

Michelle was team captain and I was so proud of the way she marshalled us on the field. It made me reminisce on all the amazing memories we shared as kids.

Never in our wildest of dreams could we have imagined that one day we would represent our country in one of the most unique sports in the world, and better yet win a gold medal for Australia.

As it turns out, Ultimate wouldn’t be the only sport we would seek to play at a national level.

Funnily enough, we both independently went along to different Australian Rules football clubs, and started playing for fun but didn’t even know the other one was doing it.

A friend of mine invited me to sign up to the Melbourne Uni football club while I was still at Uni.

Initially, for me it was mostly just a great way to push my fitness, joining in on a pre-season and maybe getting a kick out of it (pun intended!).

While at the same time, Michelle had gone along to Diamond Creek FC and started training there.
A couple of months later we both found out that the other was doing it and decided we would head along to an AFL Talent ID day held at the Victorian Academy.

They had that pathway to help cross-code athletes get drafted.

I was lucky to get picked up by Melbourne prior to the AFLW Draft, while Michelle ended up not following on after the first couple of months. She was pretty happy to move on to other things in her life.

As a cross-code athlete, I didn’t feel any pressure to pick up the game right away.

The Melbourne Football Club has been fantastic with all of the athletes coming through the club, making the pathway as smooth as it could be and providing every opportunity for all of us to learn the game and to be able to excel.

Personally, I have definitely struggled at times over the last couple of years, coming from an environment in Ultimate where I’m extremely confident in what I do. I’ve played at the very top level for ten years now and at any level of competition I can go out onto the field with complete confidence in the preparation that I’ve had and in every skill that I have to perform.

Coming into an AFLW environment, at first I felt like no matter how much time I put into the game, I could never make up for all of the years that I didn’t play. I struggled with this and took a while to really view my unique background as a positive.

Across the first two years I had a lot of thoughts of “what if”.. wishing I had more time and wishing I had taken a more regular path through to the AFLW.

Now though, I have a much more positive view of it all. I see my background as an asset, and am drawing on my past experiences as much as possible to add value around the footy club.

This year I’ve found a much better balance between all the balls I’m juggling, with full time work, footy, ultimate, family etc… and I’m a lot happier with my play as a result.

It’s a completely different sport to Ultimate in regards to the physicality of it all, and initially my parents weren’t overly thrilled with the idea of me playing in the AFLW.

My Dad loves football and he’s a super competitive athlete as well and ultimately he finds a way to love anything that we choose to do.

Mum took a little while longer to warm to it – especially after I fractured my sternum in my first ever practise game with Melbourne Uni.

She’s come to terms with it now and loves coming along to watch and support, although I think she’ll continue to worry until I stop playing!

My family are really supportive.  I’m really lucky, they come down to every game and they love getting around it and hearing about how it’s all going.

For me the next month is all about valuing the time that us Melbourne girls have together. We know how quickly the season comes and goes, and with the expansion teams coming in, the group may look very different next year.

I’m just trying to make the most every session we have together and really value the connection we have built.